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Workshop II


How do we articulate spaces for action?
13/10 – 18/10/2008

By Paz Rojo (E) & Manuela Zechner (GB/A)
With Ludotek (E), Judith Revel (F ) & Judith Schwentner (A)
In English language

What is a vocabulary? 1. something that everyone has and works with. 2. a toolbox of ideas and strategies, which we access in order to position ourselves, say things, act and make sense in/of the world. 3. always in the language of some body/bodies. 4. to do with the voice; allows us to become vocal. 4. a matter of what we do, how and why we do it.  
Vocabularies are steeped in practice. Could vocabularies be local devices that allow us to do what we say while saying what we do?
“vocabulaboratories” is a project consisting of collaborative laboratory spaces, in which people from divergent fields explore and work with their vocabularies. The labs are spaces in which we expose, share and develop our individual and collective investments in concepts. At steirischer herbst, we will put the notion of ‘strategy’ at stake, question and experiment its meanings and relevance through other conceptual and practical frameworks.
With Ludotek, we will work on the concept of “empowerment”, as a processual strategy for gaining access to environments (political, chronotopic, social, cultural…), and as a way to increase collective power over the resources and decisions that concern our lives. With Judith Schwentner, we will focus on ‘survival’, do an urban drift-walk to get to socially critical sites, meet people and ask how our strategies can become operative when confronted at a very ###
local nexus. With Judith Revel we will finally look at the concept of the ‘common’ from the perspective of philosophy, relate it to the idea of ‘strategy’ and in turn try to question and develop our own strategic positions with respect to theory. We do not privilege theory over practice or vice versa: rather we will build and negotiate our different ways of framing and sharing what we do.                    Paz Rojo & Manuela Zechner

Manuela Zechner is a cultural worker moving between the fields of new media, collaborative and performing arts. Her current long-term project is the future archive (, which engages ways of thinking about potential futures of personal practices and social/political systems. She is currently based in London, where she a postgraduate student at Goldsmiths College. In 2007 she edited “Playback, Playforward”, a newspaper addressing transversal practices between art, politics and education. Since 2006 she has been working with Paz on “vocabulaboratories”.

Paz Rojo is a choreographer and performer. She studied dance in Madrid and New York/ graduated in choreography by the School for New Dance Development, Amsterdam (SNDO- 1996-2000). Since 2001 creates her own work with pieces such “It’s my ass you’ve been thinking about”; “This body doesn’t have a title yet”; “Basic Dance”; “Quintet” (together with Cristian Duarte and Peter Stamer). In 2004 she starts the long term project entitled These Theses (2004-2007). Her work has been presented in different festivals and venues in Holland, Germany, France, Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Russia, Argentina and Spain/ etc/ she is co-founder of the Amsterdam based platform, LISA. Since 2006 she is working with Manuela on “vocabulaboratories”.
Ludotek is s a lab of living forms, which incorporates discourses and practises from a variety of disciplines looking forward to dissent. Ludotek believes that art is a shared (dis)organisation among objects, images and people, and therefore Ludotek's work must always be understood as a sociophysics platform for the development of critical discourses, and always from a ludic, recreational and socio-organisational standpoint. They make video essays, ludogrammes, testimonial documents, little exercises in criticism which consider a number of different relational problems, in order to generate a new wealth, emancipated from the tyranny of consumption, one that can apprehend the present and resist acceleration, that can be capable of generating immanent and dialogical situations. Ludotek are Rafael Sßnchez-Mateos Paniagua / Susana Velasco / Jordi Carmona Hurtado + Friends. (

Judith Revel is a philosopher, scholar of Italian studies and translator, and lecturer at Sorbonne University in Paris. As a specialist in contemporary philosophy she supervised the Italian edition of Dits et Ecrits (Feltrinelli, 1996-1998) and edited numerous books and articles on Michel Foucault. She is currently interested in the theoreticisation of the political before and after 1968, and is drawing up a genealogy of the concept of “difference” in French philosophy as of 1945. She is a member of the editorial board of the magazines Multitudes in France and Posse in Italy.
Judith Schwentner studied Slavic studies and German studies in Graz; foreign lecturer at Lemberg University/Ukraine, since 1999 editor, since January 2004 editor-in-chief and head of the street newspaper and social initiative Megaphon, since 2007 also head of the intercultural cafÚ Auschl÷ssl. Curator and organiser of “Bollywood” - Indische Filmnńchte” (2001, Forum Stadtpark), “SPB_aktuelle Kunst aus Petersburg” (as part of Graz Cultural Capital of Europe 2003), among others.


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